Thief gets 11 months in jail for fishing envelopes out of a Woodhaven post office mailbox

The Woodhaven post office on Forest Parkway
Photo via Google Maps

An admitted mailbox fisher who stole letters outside the Woodhaven post office will be spending close to a year behind bars.

Orbik Gutierrez, 21, of the Bronx pleaded guilty on Sept. 13 to a criminal trespass charge for the theft, which occurred early on the morning of March 29, 2017, at a United States Postal Service mailbox in front of the post office on Forest Parkway off Jamaica Avenue. Queens Criminal Court Judge Michelle Johnson ordered Gutierrez to spend 11 months behind bars.

Prosecutors said that police observed Gutierrez placing something inside the blue mailbox before walking away. He then returned moments later and was seen removing a device from the mailbox.

The device, law enforcement sources said, turned out to be a makeshift fishing rod — basically, a string attached to a bottle with a sticky substance on it. Footage from security cameras outside the post office showed several pieces of mail stuck to the bottle.

Police moved in and apprehended Gutierrez, one of a number of mail thieves busted by police in Queens in recent years. The NYPD has been battling reported mailbox fishing thefts across the borough and city.

“When residents place their mail — envelopes containing checks and sometimes cash — into mailboxes, they have an expectation that the blue boxes are secure. This defendant, however, found a way to swipe mail from this box using a makeshift ‘fishing’ rod,” Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown said. “The defendant was observed by law enforcement officers pulling mail out of the blue mailbox and was arrested. The defendant will be incarcerated as a result of his criminal acts.”